This is the second post in the four-part Respecting Your Husband series. We’re also covering admiration, appreciation, and making him feel like #1.
Accepting your husband for who he is, is an important part of a healthy marriage. How many ladies get married and think they can change their husbands when something annoys them? I’m guilty, too…but have learned otherwise. Truly, I’m thankful because it makes us unique, our relationship diverse, and makes us grow and love more deeply.
My husband is a type-A, go-getter, leader with goals and a big work ethic. Some of his drives and expectations were a bit intimidating to me. But I loved him and hopped aboard for whatever ride our marriage would be. I just knew early on that I wasn’t going to be able to change this man in any way, shape or form. He is strong-willed. Despite that, I thank God that we have a best friend relationship, where we are open and vulnerable with one another. He shares his insecurities with me, despite his role in leading our family and being “the boss man” at work. He is a more gentle, softer person with me.
One thing that has made me upset over the years is that he likes to play Texas Hold ‘Em poker as a means to relax and unwind. He is a numbers guy, fascinated by game theory and the overall challenge of a game mixing both chance and strategy. He has never used money that we need to pay our bills or put food on the table. He doesn’t have a gambling problem. It is just an area that I’ve personally had to wrestle with. I’m not sure why, because he doesn’t do other activities like softball, bowling leagues, go to the gym or anything. This is his outlet. Over the years I’ve come to accept it; not getting upset when he does it, and letting him go with sweetness rather than anger. Whether he wins or looses, he comes home happier and refreshed…and to a peaceful home. We both win. (For the record, he is an exceptional poker player!)
Around the house, he might leave clothes piling up on the dresser or the floor. I still don’t get why it’s any harder to throw clothes down the laundry chute, buy hey, I let it go. I’ve learned that nagging is only worse and drives a wedge between us. So when I do our bedroom clean-up once a week or so, I just pick up his stuff. He amounts to so much more to me than a pile of clothes.
Ladies, the saying about choosing your battles wisely is true. Trust me when I say that some things about your husband that annoy you at the beginning of marriage will subside if you let them slide, instead of letting the irritation build into a battle. You can be in control of your emotions (with the help of the Holy Spirit), and take those thoughts captive, turning them into something constructive instead of destructive.
One more example of being accepting. In 2007, my husband had a brain tumor. It was benign, thank God. But he had to undergo a craniotomy to remove it. During surgery, the doctor cut a nerve that he thought was either an extra nerve or one that would control the feeling in his forehead. It wasn’t his forehead.
My husband now has problems with his left eye. The pupil doesn’t dilate, the eyeball only moves half of what it used to, and his eyelid wants to remain shut most of the time. He has glasses that have magnetic clip-on shades that he wears all the time. He suffers from headaches almost every day, and too much light makes it worse.
He tells me all the time that he is so grateful that I stood by him and continue to accept him, even though he now has these issues. Lots of people think he’s just trying to be “Joe Cool.” But to me, he is my shade-wearing Superman. Or in a suit and tie, he looks like he’s from the movie, “Men In Black.”
Rules for Acceptance, taken from the book, “Fascinating Womanhood,” by Helen Andelin:
1. Get rid of self-righteous attitudes.
2. Accept him as part virtue, part fault.
3. Give him his freedom to be himself.
4. Don’t try to improve him.
5. Don’t use other men as shining examples.
6. Look to his better side.
7. Express acceptance in words.
I love him and respect him for who he is, unconditionally. When you can accept the whole of your husband, it speaks volumes of respect to him. Watch the love that comes back.
* Disclaimer: This post is not meant to reflect a marriage where the husband is abusive or has issues with addiction.
© 2014, Kristen Hamilton. All rights reserved. Love it? Please share, pin, tweet or email but do not use my work without permission.